Attached first "chapman" is the rubric
"regan" is the reading
"Philosophy" is my rough draft so far, but if you can do better let me know
Intro to Philosophy Final Essay
Deadlines: 1. Th, Dec 9, in class and online. Rough draft due.
a. Turn in a copy to Canvas and bring a hard paper copy to class for peer review.
b. For in-class peer review, hard copies only. Must be printed on paper. No electronic
copies, no exceptions.
c. Peer review to be performed in class.
2. Fr, Dec 17, 11:59pm, online. Final version due online.
Grading ● The essay is worth up to 25 points toward your total course grade. ● Click here to see the rubric ● Late essays that have not been pre-approved for extension will be assigned 0 points. Late final
essays will not be accepted except in case of extreme extenuating circumstance or due to
officially documented accommodations. If you anticipate needing to submit the essay late, it
would be wise to get in contact with me ahead of the deadline for a possible extension.
There will be no retroactive extensions granted.
Essay Writing Resources ● Slides on Analytical Writing ● Composing introductions and conclusions ● Transition sentences 1 ● Transition sentences 2 ● Classic tips on writing a philosophical paper from Jim Pryor (ignore the “How you’ll be
● Argument Reconstruction ● Sample Argument Reconstruction
General Instructions ● The final essay is a 3-6 page (double-space) argumentative essay. All essays will be based on
topics from the chapters from the Warburton text on which the student presentations have
been based. See below for the list of topics that you can choose.
● You may write on any of the topics below, except the ones from the chapter that you presented on.
● You must write on one and only one of the below topics. When you choose a topic, you are choosing to focus on one of the arguments from the Warburton chapter. Your essay must
center around an in-depth consideration of one of the major arguments from the chapter
you choose. Focus on giving a clear, focused, and in-depth account of one argument—do not
simply summarize the Warburton chapter as a whole. See below for the list of specific
arguments from each chapter that you can address.
● Your task is to identify a philosophical issue, take a stance on that issue, and argue in favor of your stance.
● The essay should reconstruct the central argument as well as consider objections and replies. ● On the basis of your consideration of the argument, objections, and replies, you should
come to a definite stance and develop a strong thesis statement.
● The essay must include some original thought: even though you are considering arguments that already exist, you should try to say in your own words why you think your own stance is
the best supported after having considered the argument/objections/replies.
● The essay must contain substantial references to one source outside of the Warburton chapter itself. Outside references for each topic are linked below.
List of Required Elements: 1. Introduction inclusive of thesis statement and organizational road-map (see handout on
2. Reconstruction of the main argument
a. Motivation and Context: Why is the argument important? What is at stake?
b. Logical Analysis:
i. Identify the major conclusion of the argument.
ii. Explain the inferences to get to the conclusion.
For more guidance on this part, see the handout on Argument Reconstruction.
3. Critical Analysis:
a. Step 1: Pose at least two objections to the argument
i. These objections can come from the readings, you can make them up on
your own, or anywhere in between.
b. Step 2: Reply to the objection
i. Even if you agree with the objection, do your best to think about how
someone who disagrees with the objection may reply.
4. Final evaluation:
a. Now that you’ve gone over an argument, objections, and replies, you are to decide
whether the objections suffice to undermine the original argument, or whether the
replies were sufficient. Your final evaluation is your thesis for this essay.
b. There are three basic possibilities:
i. The original argument stands firm against the objections.
1. If so, state how and why the replies suffice to refute the objection.
ii. The objections suffice to undermine the original argument.
1. If so, state how and why the reply is insufficient to counter the
iii. The objections suggest a modified version of the original argument
that can withstand the objection.
1. In that case, explain what modifications you would make, and tell
your reader in detail how these modifications make the argument
immune to the original objection.
a. You must make reference both to the chapter from the Warburton text, and
substantial reference to at least one of the outside readings. For the relevant outside
reading related to your topic, see the Topics and Sources section below.
Organization and Length 3-6 pages double-spaced. The organization and length of your essay should be based on the logic of
your thesis claim. Do not try to fit your essay into any predetermined structure, e.g., the
“five-paragraph essay”. Remember the paragraph construction and organizational strategies we
discussed in class (refer also to the handouts above).
Citations ● Works-cited page required. You must have a works cited page in which you cite the
Warburton text and your outside source.
● You are required to use in-text citations—you must cite both the Warburton text and one outside resource (see the options for outside resources below). Use in-text parenthetical
citations with page numbers whenever you introduce a quotation or paraphrase an idea from
the text like so:
Direct quotation: Descartes says, “For this reason alone the entire class of causes
which people customarily derive from a thing’s “end,” I judge to be utterly useless in
physics” (Descartes, p.37).
Paraphrase: Descartes disallows teleological explanation in physics, because he
believes we cannot grasp the ends or reasons that God has for creating things in the
way he does (Descartes, p.37).
Topics and Sources: Below are the topics you may choose. Choose one topic, not an entire chapter. Each topic is also a
link to the additional source for your required outside reference. You do not need to read any of the
articles except the one corresponding to the topic you want to write on. For example, if you want to
write on animal rights, incorporate the article on animal rights, but ignore the one on speciesism.
● Topic 1: Design Argument ● Topic 2: First Cause (Cosmological) Argument ● Topic 3: Ontological Argument
All of the above can be cited as:
● Mackie, J.L. (1982). The Miracle of Theism. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Ch2. Right and Wrong
● Topic 1: Moral Relativism ● Topic 2: Utilitarianism ● Topic 3: Kantian Ethics
All of the above can be cited as:
● Rachels, J. (2019). The Miracle of Theism, 9th Ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
● Topic 1: Animal rights ○ Regan, T. (1985). The Case for Animal Rights. In Singer (ed.) In Defense of Animals.
● Topic 2: Speciesism and animal pain/suffering ○ Singer, P. (2011). Practical Ethics, 3rd Ed. Cambridge University Press.
● Topic 1: Democracy ● Topic 2: Equal distribution of property ● Topic 3: Freedom
All of the above can be cited as:
● Wolff, J. (2006). An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Revised Edition. Oxford University Press.
● Topic 1: Problem of induction ○ Feldman, R. (2003). Epistemology. Prentice Hall.
● Topic 2: Falsificationism ○ Chalmers, A.F. (2013). What is This Thing Called Science? University of Queensland
● Topic 3: Scientism
○ Okasha, S. (2002). Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
● Topic 1: The Family Resemblance View (Section 3.2 of the article only)
1 I regard myself as an advocate of animal rights – as a part of the animal rights movement. That movement, as I conceive it, is committed to a number of goals, including:
� the total abolition of the use of animals in science; � the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture; � the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and trapping.
There are, I know, people who profess to believe in animal rights but do not avow these goals. Factory farming, they say, is wrong – it violates animals’ rights – but traditional animal agriculture is all right. Toxicity tests of cosmetics on animals violates their rights, but important medical research – cancer research, for example – does not. The clubbing of baby seals is abhorrent, but not the harvesting of adult seals. I used to think I understood this reasoning. Not any more.You don’t change unjust institutions by tidying them up.
2 What’s wrong – fundamentally wrong – with the way animals are treated isn’t the details that vary from case to case. It’s the whole system. The forlornness
‘ T h e C a s e f o r A n i m a l
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This article* is the contemporary philosopher Tom Regan’s brisk summary of a large book (425 pages) he published in 1983, The Case for Animal Rights. In it he
sketches his objections to other theoretical approaches to morality (the indirect
duty view, contractarianism, utilitarianism), offers a ‘rights view’ in their place,
and argues, with necessary brevity, that the rights view cannot be limited in its
scope to human beings. Like Singer, he employs a principle of equality, and like
Singer, he claims that giving special value to human beings because they are
members of Homo sapiens is speciesism.
of the veal calf is pathetic, heart wrenching; the pulsing pain of the chimp with electrodes planted deep in her brain is repulsive; the slow, torturous death of the racoon caught in the leg-hold trap is agonizing. But what is wrong isn’t the pain, isn’t the suffering, isn’t the deprivation. These compound what’s wrong. Sometimes – often – they make it much, much worse. But they are not the fundamental wrong.
3 The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us – to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for sport or money. Once we accept this view of animals – as our resources – the rest is as predictable as it is regrettable. Why worry about their loneliness, their pain, their death? Since animals exist for us, to benefit us in one way or another, what harms them really doesn’t matter – or matters only if it starts to bother us, makes us feel a trifle uneasy …
4 In the case of animals in science, whether and how we abolish their use … are to a large extent political questions. People must change their beliefs before they change their habits. Enough people, especially those elected to public office, must believe in change – must want it – before we will have laws that protect the rights of animals. This process of change is very complicated, very demanding, very exhausting, calling for the efforts of many hands in education, publicity, political organization and activity, down to the licking of envelopes and stamps. As a trained and practising philosopher, the sort of contribution I can make is limited but, I like to think, important. The currency of philosophy is ideas – their meaning and rational foundation – not the nuts and bolts of the legislative process, say, or the mechanics of community organization. That’s what I have been exploring over the past ten years or so in my essays and talks and, most recently, in my book, The Case for Animal Rights. I believe the major conclusions I reach in the book are true because they are supported by the weight of the best argu- ments. I believe the idea of animal rights has reason, not just emotion, on its side.
5 In the space I have at my disposal here I can only sketch, in the barest outline, some of the main features of the book. Its main themes – and we should not be surprised by this – involve asking and answering deep, foundational moral questions about what morality is, how it should be understood and what is the best moral theory, all considered. I hope I can convey something of the shape I think this theory takes. The attempt to do this will be (to use a word a friendly critic once used to describe my work) cerebral, perhaps too cerebral. But this is misleading. My feelings about how animals are sometimes treated run just as deep and just as strong as those of my more volatile compatriots. Philosophers do – to use the jargon of the day – have a right side to their brains. If it’s the left side we contribute (or mainly should), that’s because what talents we have reside there.
6 How to proceed? We begin by asking how the moral status of animals has been understood by thinkers who deny that animals have rights. Then we test the mettle of their ideas by seeing how well they stand up under the heat of fair criti- cism. If we start our thinking in this way, we soon find that some people believe that we have no duties directly to animals, that we owe nothing to them, that we can do nothing that wrongs them. Rather, we can do wrong acts that involve animals, and so we have duties regarding them, though none to them. Such views may be called indirect duty views. By way of illustration: suppose your neighbour
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kicks your dog. Then your neighbour has done something wrong. But not to your dog. The wrong that has been done is a wrong to you. After all, it is wrong to upset people, and your neighbour’s kicking your dog upsets you. So you are the one who is wronged, not your dog. Or again: by kicking your dog your neigh- bour damages your property. And since it is wrong to damage another person’s property, your neighbour has done something wrong – to you, of course, not to your dog. Your neighbour no more wrongs your dog than your car would be wronged if the windshield were smashed.Your neighbour’s duties involving your dog are indirect duties to you. More generally, all of our duties regarding animals are indirect duties to one another – to humanity.
7 How could someone try to justify such a view? Someone might say that your dog doesn’t feel anything and so isn’t hurt by your neighbour’s kick, doesn’t care about the pain since none is felt, is as unaware of anything as is your wind- shield. Someone might say this, but no rational person will, since, among other considerations, such a view will commit anyone who holds it to the position that no human being feels pain either – that human beings also don’t care about what happens to them. A second possibility is that though both humans and your dog are hurt when kicked, it is only human pain that matters. But, again, no rational person can believe this. Pain is pain wherever it occurs. If your neighbour’s causing you pain is wrong because of the pain that is caused, we cannot rationally ignore or dismiss the moral relevance of the pain that your dog feels.
8 Philosophers who hold indirect duty views – and many still do – have come to understand that they must avoid the two defects just noted: that is, both the view that animals don’t feel anything as well as the idea that only human pain can be morally relevant. Among such thinkers the sort of view now favoured is one or other form of what is called contractarianism.
9 Here, very crudely, is the root idea: morality consists of a set of rules that individuals voluntarily agree to abide by, as we do when we sign a contract (hence the name contractarianism). Those who understand and accept the terms of the contract are covered directly; they have rights created and recognized by, and protected in, the contract. And these contractors can also have protection spelled out for others who, though they lack the ability to understand morality and so cannot sign the contract themselves, are loved or cherished by those who can. Thus young children, for example, are unable to sign contracts and lack rights. But they are protected by the contract nonetheless because of the senti- mental interests of others, most notably their parents. So we have, then, duties involving these children, duties regarding them, but no duties to them. Our duties in their case are indirect duties to other human beings, usually their parents.
10 As for animals, since they cannot understand contracts, they obviously cannot sign; and since they cannot sign, they have no rights. Like children, however, some animals are the objects of the sentimental interest of others.You, for example, love your dog or cat. So those animals that enough people care about (companion animals, whales, baby seals, the American bald eagle), though they lack rights themselves, will be protected because of the sentimental interests of people. I have, then, according to contractarianism, no duty directly to your dog or any other animal, not even the duty not to cause them pain or suffering;
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my duty not to hurt them is a duty I have to those people who care about what happens to them. As for other animals, where no or little sentimental interest is present – in the case of farm animals, for example, or laboratory rats – what duties we have grow weaker and weaker, perhaps to vanishing point. The pain and death they endure, though real, are not wrong if no one cares about them.
11 When it comes to the moral status of animals, contractarianism could be a hard view to refute if it were an adequate theoretical approach to the moral status of human beings. It is not adequate in this latter respect, however, which makes the question of its adequacy in the former case, regarding animals, utterly moot. For consider: morality, according to the (crude) contractarian position before us, consists of rules that people agree to abide by. What people? Well, enough to make a difference – enough, that is, collectively to have the power to enforce the rules that are drawn up in the contract. That is very well and good for the signatories but not so good for anyone who is not asked to sign. And there is nothing in contractarianism of the sort we are discussing that guarantees or requires that everyone will have a chance to participate equally in framing the rules of morality. The result is that this approach to ethics could sanction the most blatant forms of social, economic, moral and political injustice, ranging from a repressive caste system to systematic racial or sexual discrimination. Might, according to this theory, does make right. Let those who are the victims of injus- tice suffer as they will. It matters not so long as no one else – no contractor, or too few of them – cares about it. Such a theory takes one’s moral breath away … as if, for example, there would be nothing wrong with apartheid in South Africa if few white South Africans were upset by it. A theory with so little to recommend it at the level of the ethics of our treatment of our fellow humans cannot have anything more to recommend it when it comes to the ethics of how we treat our fellow animals.
12 The version of contractarianism just examined is, as I have noted, a crude variety, and in fairness to those of a contractarian persuasion it must be noted that much more refined, subtle and ingenious varieties are possible. For example, John Rawls, in his A Theory of Justice, sets forth a version of contractarianism that forces contractors to ignore the accidental features of being a human being – for example, whether one is white or black, male or female, a genius or of modest intellect. Only by ignoring such features, Rawls believes, can we ensure that the principles of justice that contractors would agree upon are not based on bias or prejudice. Despite the improvement a view such as Rawls’s represents over the cruder forms of contractarianism, it remains deficient: it systematically denies that we have direct duties to those human beings who do not have a sense of justice – young children, for instance, and many mentally retarded humans. And yet it seems reasonably certain that, were we to torture a young child or a retarded elder, we would be doing something that wronged him or her, not something that would be wrong if (and only if) other humans with a sense of justice were upset. And since this is true in the case of these humans, we cannot rationally deny the same in the case of animals.
13 Indirect duty views, then, including the best among them, fail to command our rational assent. Whatever ethical theory we should accept ratio-
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nally, therefore, it must at least recognize that we have some duties directly to animals, just as we have some duties directly to each other…
14 Some people think that the theory we are looking for is utilitarianism. A utilitarian accepts two moral principles. The first is that of equality; everyone’s interests count, and similar interests must be counted as having similar weight or importance. White or black, American or Iranian, human or animal – everyone’s pain or frustration matter, and matter just as much as the equivalent pain or frus- tration of anyone else. The second principle a utilitarian accepts is that of utility: do the act that will bring about the best balance between satisfaction and frustra- tion for everyone affected by the outcome.
15 As a utilitarian, then, here is how I am to approach the task of deciding what I morally ought to do: I must ask who will be affected if I choose to do one thing rather than another, how much each individual will be affected, and where the best results are most likely to lie – which option, in other words, is most likely to bring about the best results, the best balance between satisfaction and frustration. That option, whatever it may be, is the one I ought to choose. That is where my moral duty lies.
16 The great appeal of utilitarianism rests with its uncompromising egalitari- anism: everyone’s interests count and count as much as the like interests of everyone else. The kind of odious discrimination that some forms of contractari- anism can justify – discrimination based on race or sex, for example – seems disallowed in principle by utilitarianism, as is speciesism, systematic discrimina- tion based on species membership.
17 The equality we find in utilitarianism, however, is not the sort an advo- cate of animal or human rights should have in mind. Utilitarianism has no room for the equal moral rights of different individuals because it has no room for their equal inherent value or worth.What has value for the utilitarian is the satisfaction of an individual’s interest, not the individual whose interests they are. A universe in which you satisfy your desire for water, food and warmth is, other things being equal, better than a universe in which these desires are frustrated. And the same is true in the case of an animal with similar desires. But neither you nor the animal have any value in your own right. Only your feelings do.
18 Here is an analogy to help make the philosophical point clearer: a cup contains different liquids, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, sometimes a mix of the two. What has value are the liquids: the sweeter the better, the bitterer the worse. The cup, the container, has no value. It is what goes into it, not what they go into, that has value. For the utilitarian you and I are like the cup; we have no value as individuals and thus no equal value. What has value is what goes into us, what we serve as receptacl